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RIOT: Faculty Information

First Year Writing, PWR, RIOT, Information Literacy

RIOT v.2 is an updated version of the Research Instruction Online Tutorial.

The original tutorial was designed to augment the information literacy component of the PWR first-year writing courses. RIOT v.2 maintains that goal with updated content and design.

The tutorial's main objective is to cultivate students' information literacies. 




MODULE 1 Think

Learning Goals: 

  • to recognize assignment requirements
  • to choose a topic
  • to brainstorm
  • to locate background information
  • to determine specific information needs
  • to begin research question formulation

Complementary activities:

  • Brainstorming, mind mapping, free writing (topic)
  • Background research
  • Project statement (question formation)
  • Keywords (focus formulation, listing)


  • Topic selection suggestions
  • Brainstorm components of topic
  • Background research
  • Identify information gaps/ need to knows
  • Examples of research question generation
  • Discipline discussion


Learning Goals:

  • to distinguish between information source types
  • to judge appropriate source type for needs
  • to choose appropriate search strategy and tool

Complementary activities:

  • Identify research questions and sub topics
  • Identify audience
  • Identify voices in the conversation (where)


Overview of information types

  • Books
  • Popular articles
  • Peer reviewed articles
  • Web sites
  • People/interviews

Overview of tools for discovery

  • Catalog
  • Databases
  • Web search engines
  • Teachers/ friends/ family

Search terms

  • Brainstorming
  • Combining
  • Recording
  • Recursive
  • Focus formulation

MODULE 3 Tools

Learning Goals:

  • to become familiar with local tools
  • to actively engage previous module concepts


  • CU Library web page overview
  • Chinook
  • Choosing  a database
  • Common database interface features
  • Help available

MODULE 4 Evaluate

Learning Goals:

  • to understand the need for critical evaluation
  • to explore evaluation criteria

Complementary activities:

  • Annotated bibliography
  • Author background investigation
  • Identify information gaps


  • Why evaluate
  • Questions to guide evaluation
  • Examples


Learning Goals:

  • to recognize research conversation
  • to understand academic integrity
  • to understand pragmatics of citing

Complementary activities:

  • Drafting
  • Constructing bibliography


  • Discussion of research and its connection to writing and knowledge creation
  • Academic integrity (plagiarism)
  • Pragmatics of citing
  • When to cite: paraphrase, summarize, direct quote
  • How to cite: introduction to styles

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Caroline Sinkinson
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